The thing about longer, warmer summer day is that they make me crave lighter, fresher foods. When I am hot, the last thing I want is a heavy, greasy meal that is going to weight me down. In line with this, one of our favorite types of meals in the summer is what I call a “grain salad.” The formula is pretty simple: cooked whole grain + chopped veggies +/- beans/chicken + /- herbs + vinaigrette dressing. The combinations are endless, and they also make for great “clean out the refrigerator meals.”
This grain salad is one that I ran across last summer on A Couple Cooks. We’ve made it several times in the past year, enough that I feel justified in sharing it. You may notice in the pictures that our beans were much lighter than a traditional kidney bean. Like I mentioned before, one of the great thing about this type of meal is the adaptability! This recipe is a little different from some of the others in that it does call for a special spice – Cajun spice blend. Buy it. Even if you don’t have another recipe using it. I promise it will go to good use. Enjoy!
Cajun Bulgur Salad
From A Couple Cooks
1-1/2 cups uncooked bulgur wheat
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 ears of corn (or 1/2 cup thawed frozen corn)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half if larger
1/2 cup red onion, chopped (about 1/2 medium-sized onion)
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
~1 Tbsp. Cajun spice blend (depends on brand of spice and heat level desired)
fresh ground black pepper
Kosher salt (if needed, may be salt in the spice blend)
Heat 1-1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan to a boil. Add bulgur to the saucepan, cover, and remove from heat. Let the pan sit undisturbed for about 15 minutes. The bulgur will absorb the water as it sits. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the bulgur with a fork.
Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, oregano, 1/2 Tbsp. Cajun spice blend, salt and pepper. Set aside. Prepare vegetables and rinse and drain the beans if using canned beans. When the grain has finished cooking, add the bulgur and vegetables to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and mix well. Add remaining Cajun seasoning, salt, and/or pepper to taste. Enjoy!